The globally popular brand BEVZA is trademarked by a clean and minimalist style drawing on Ukrainian traditions. Their 2021 Spring/Summer collection revolves around one of the most ancient and captivating aspects of their history, the Trypillian culture worshipping women, in two chapters. Behind the sophistication of their items manufactured with artisan techniques, there is a deeply traditional approach infused with spirituality and the designer’s personal, anthropological research.
„In the course of exploring the national heritage, I carry out a delicate work with ethnic symbols and cultural codes and reimagine them in a new way. This time, while preparing the SS’21 collection, I’ve made an expedition to the lands where the ancient civilization of Trypillia existed and worked not only with museum objects but dived deep into the atmosphere of these powerful and impressive places. It was a complex research which helped me learn even more about this advanced civilization and its culture,” designer Svitlana Bevza shared with us.
The Trypillian civilization arrived to Ukraine from the Carpathian Mountains through Romania between 6000-3000 BC, where they discovered the majority of their former cities. The pagan culture worshipping female figurines placed feminine energies and motherhood into the center of their society.
In addition to womanhood, the collection also praises the gifts of nature as well as crafts. Thanks to the artisan techniques, the ancient symbols appear on the natural materials with a sophisticated and sensual aesthetic characteristic of the brand. “The key object for shape inspiration has become Oranta, the ancient symbol of motherhood and fertility. This figure was the starting point for feminine silhouettes and decorative details on the chest for the hand-knitted jackets which we named ‘Oranta’,” Svitlana told us. The hand-knit “Oranta”, just like the Kozhukh, is a reinvention of traditional Ukrainian jackets.
“While exploring the Trypillian culture, we also discovered the folkloric symbol ‘Tree of Life’ which celebrates the stream of life. So we decorated some dresses and a top with this pattern to add a textural accent on a clean and minimalistic silhouette,” Svitlana added.
The wheat grain has been a recurring element in the brand’s history: it is an ancient Ukrainian symbol of fertility and rich harvest. This year, it also pops up on the structure of the hand-made “Spikelet” blouse braided from silk stripes and on some pieces of jewelry, too.
The rustic ceramic objects also form an integral part of the collection. Ceramics and pottery play a crucial role in both the Ukrainian and Trypillian heritage. “We collaborated with Kyiv ceramist Nadiia Shapoval and created animalistic ceramic buttons for some pieces from the collection, jewelry with female figures which embodies fertility and prosperity, ceramic plates and statuette that resemble ancient Trypillian objects,” Svitlana revealed.
In the course of their expedition, Svitlana and Nadiaa also shot a short movie about the region, featuring meditative scenes of wheat fields, idyllic wild flowers and the processes of hand-made clothing solutions.